Gilbert Teodoro abandons Reproductive Health Bill: the Government should support a moral choice

by TJ Burgonio Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 18:25:00 01/27/2010

MANILA, Philippines—Gilbert Teodoro offered no apologies on Wednesday for abandoning the reproductive health bill, and even proposed granting conditional cash transfers to poor couples employing the so-called natural methods of birth control.

The administration standard-bearer found himself defending his and his wife’s decision to withdraw support from the controversial measure before doctors and medical students at a forum at the University of the Philippines in Manila.

At the forum “Make Health Count,” Teodoro explained that the debate over the measure in the House of Representatives had become so “acrimonious” that the stakeholders totally forgot about the problem of population.

“The big debate is whether or not the government can shape a moral choice. And that is the argument of the Church. That the government should not actively advocate for making a moral choice. The debate stopped there,” he said.

Teodoro indicated that he agreed with the Church position, and said that the government should be “neutral” but should support the “moral choice” of every individual with resources.

The Church, for its part, should take it upon itself to shape the “moral choice” by acknowledging the problem of a growing population, he added.

“What should the government do? Instead of being involved in debate, we should support a moral choice,” he said in response to former Health Secretary Alberto Romualdez’s question why he and his wife Tarlac Rep. Nikki Prieto-Teodoro withdrew support from the bill. “I’d rather have resources to support a moral choice rather than fight over a bill.”

Teodoro said there was a need to come to a “mutual and common understanding” on addressing population “whereby the government respects the moral choice and provides resources toward supporting that moral choice.”

If they use the rhythm method, we can have some resources to support that by a conditional cash transfer if they do not have a birth within a year or so for the poorest of the poor,” he said, referring to the government’s program of granting cash to poor families with children enrolled in public schools.

“He has caved in to the Church and and agreed with his President, whose position is the reason why we have a big problem in population,” Romualdez said.

Monk’s Hobbit Notes: Gilbert Teodoro is now positioning himself more on the Pro-Life side in the debate regarding the Reproductive Health Bill.  If he solidifies his position against artificial contraception and campaigns against it and contrasts himself against all the other Presidential candidates who support the Reproductive Health Bill such as Noynoy Aquino, the tide of the Teodoro’s campaign may turn in his favor.  I shall offer my prayers for Teodoro and his wife in this battle against artificial contraception.  I shall ask Our Lord, Our Lady, and the entire celestial court to aid Teodoro in this battle, “for our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens” (Eph 6:12).  The supporters of the Reproductive Health Bill may be Legion, but fear not!  Remember the story of Elisha the Prophet:

When the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an army with horses and chariots was round about the city. His servant said to him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? 16He answered, Don’t be afraid; for those who are with us are more than those who are with them. 17Elisha prayed, and said, Yahweh, Please open his eyes, that he may see. Yahweh opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. 18When they came down to him, Elisha prayed to Yahweh, and said, Please smite this people with blindness. He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. (2 Kings 6:15-18)

I think I can now in conscience put Gilbert Teodoro’s website in my sidebar together with the Kapatiran Party.

Related Articles:

Gibo Teodoro’s presidential campaign: the problem of product positioning

Rep. Nikki Prieto Teodoro, wife of Presidential Candidate Gilbert Teodoro, withdraws support for the Reproductive Health Bill

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Rep. Nikki Prieto Teodoro, wife of Presidential Candidate Gilbert Teodoro, withdraws support for the Reproductive Health Bill

SAYING that it has been “defanged and is now toothless” the legislator-wife of former defense secretary Gilbert  Teodoro, the administration bet in the 2010 presidential elections, has withdrawn her support for the controversial reproductive-health bill.

In pulling out her support for House Bill 5043, Lakas-Kampi-CMD Rep. Nikki Prieto Teodoro of Tarlac said the measure does not directly address the problem of poverty in the country, where about 5,000 Filipinos are born daily, most of them ending up poor.

She said that her new stand on the issue is consistent with her husband’s platform of government to fight against the “four faces of poverty: poverty of the mind, poverty of the pocket, poverty of the environment, poverty of relationships.”

“We shall protect the life of each and every citizen. Respect for life shall be from the moment of conception to the moment of death of our constituents. The protection of life is guaranteed by our constitution and on this principle there is no compromise,” former defense secretary Teodoro said in his speech during the Lakas-Kampi-CMD convention recently.

Source:  Business Mirror

Monk’s Hobbit’s Notes: This is what I have been praying for.  I was still reluctant to vote Gibo before.  Though I believe that he is the most competent among the Presidential candidates, his wife’s support  for the Reproductive Health Bill is a millstone around his neck.  Now that his wife withdraws support for the Bill, I can now pray that Gibo wins.  I hope the pro-life movement would now rally behind Teodoro’s banner.

J. C. de los Reyes is fighting a good fight.  He knows he has a very slim chance in winning the presidential race.  But he joins the race not for himself but to give the Kapatiran party a voice in the presidential elections.  The Kapatiran party is a distinctively pro-life party.  I shall vote for the Kapatiran’s senatorial slate.  I watched the ANC Presidential Elections 2010 forum last night and I heard Gibo and JC speak.  Gibo is more eloquent, but JC’s moral integrity shines: he is willing to waive the bank secrecy law and allow the public to know his bank account.  He said that he has a house in Baguio which he built himself, because he has a brick making business.  He also said that he has a lease-to-own house somewhere in Manila worth 5 million pesos; he pays P 50,000 per month.  Concerning the question of the reproductive health bill, we already know what JC will say.  But this is what I heard Gibo say: population control must not be legislated.  I had a feeling that this is a portent of things to come and indeed, Gibo’s wife now withdraws support for the Reproductive Health Bill.  If there is something good that JC had done in joining the presidential race, I think it is in making Gibo consider the moral side of the issues.

Update 12/7/2009: Gibo is still pro-choice. If he does not change his mind, I will not vote for him.